Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 arrives

Red Hat's newest update for its flagship enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5, is ready to go.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Red Hat, the world's leading Linux company, has announced that the newest version of its flagship operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5, is ready to go. 


According to the Raleigh, NC-based company, this latest version of the RHEL 6 line is "designed for those who build and manage large, complex IT projects, especially enterprises that require an open hybrid cloud. From security and networking to virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the capabilities needed to manage these environments."

This version also includes tools that aid in quickly tuning the system to run SAP applications based on SAP's published best practices.

In a statement, Jim Totton, Red Hat's VP and general manager of the Platform Business Unit, said, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the innovation expected from the industry’s leading enterprise Linux operating system while also delivering a mature platform for business operations, be it standardizing operating environments or supporting critical applications. The newest version of RHEL 6 forms the building blocks of the entire Red Hat portfolio, including OpenShift and OpenStack, making it a perfect foundation for enterprises looking to explore the open hybrid cloud.”

To help all this work, RHEL 6.5 features "integrated security functionality that combines ease-of-use and up-to-date security standards into the platform. The addition of a centralized certificate trust store enables standardized certificate access for security services. Also included are tools that meet leading security standards, including OpenSCAP 2.1, which implements the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) 1.2 standard. With these additions, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 provides a secure platform upon which to build mission-critical services and applications."

This version of RHEL also pushes into real-time operating system territory with application latency that is measured in microseconds, not seconds. The new RHEL is designed for use in the financial services and trading-related industries, where Red Hat has long had a presence in such important stock markets as the New York Stock Exchange Euronext, Citigroup, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Specifically, RHEL 6.5 fully supports sub-microsecond clock accuracy over local area network (LAN)s using the Precision Time Protocol (PTP). Precision time synchronization is key for high-speed, low latency applications such as stock trading programs. RHEL 6.5 can now be used to track time on trading transactions, improving time stamp accuracy on archived data or precisely synchronizing time locally or globally.

RHEL 6.5 also boasts new comprehensive views of network activity. These capabilities enable sysadmins to inspect IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) data to list multicast router ports, and multicast groups with active subscribers and their associated interfaces. This means that RHEL can now easily be used for media streaming .

The new RHEL also improves its virtualization tools. For example, you can now dynamically enable or disable virtual processors (vCPUs) in active guests. This makes it work well with cloud-based elastic workloads. The handling of memory intensive applications as Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests has also been improved, with configurations supported for up to 4TB of memory on Linux's built-in Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor.

The KVM hypervisor also integrates with GlusterFS volumes to provide direct access to the distributed storage platform, improving performance when accessing Red Hat Storage or GlusterFS volumes.

RHEL 6.5 also now supports deploying application images in containers created using Docker. Formerly known as dotCloud, Docker is an open-source container project. Containers, in turn, can run applications as if they were on virtual machines (VM)s without a VM's memory, proessors and storage demands.

Put it all together and what you have is a major step forward in the RHEL corporate operating system family. Businesses using RHEL for their servers should be certain to examine this release closely. In particular, companies using RHEL for SAP, financial transactions, and virtualization should give RHEL 6.5 a close look sooner rather than later.

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